Thursday, August 21, 2014

Global Post CEO says he spent millions trying to rescue reporter before he was beheaded and that Sec. of State Kerry was involved in rescue efforts

8/20/14, "ISIS tortured James Foley's family with emails warning they were planning to execute him last week," UK Daily Mail, by James Nye for MailOnline

Global Post CEO
"The White House was aware of James Foley's location before his death claims the murdered journalist's former boss, who says he hired an international security firm to locate the kidnapped reporter.

GlobalPost CEO, Philip Balboni, said today that his organization knew of Foley's whereabouts in Syria and said it was safe to assume the US government knew of it too.

The media executive also said Secretary of State John Kerry had been personally involved at some level of the search or negotiations for Foley's return, but refused to go into details.

In a press conference, Balboni revealed he had personally spent 'millions' trying to retrieve Foley, 40, but the journalist was ultimately shown 'no mercy' by his captors who beheaded him and posted the grisly video online on Tuesday.

Speaking from Boston, Balboni also revealed that Foley's family had been emailed by ISIS last Wednesday and informed that the terror group intended to execute the reporter in retaliation for US bombing in support of Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

Balboni said that ISIS 'made no demands' in their email and 'it was just a statement that they were going to execute Jim'.

Balboni said he passed on the email to the government immediately and at the press conference said, 'It's safe to say our government knew.'

'We received an email from the captors on Wednesday night of last week stating their intention to execute Jim,' said Balboni in an interview with WCVB-TV in Boston.

The ominous email differed to prior correspondences from ISIS, which usually contained either financial or political demands....

'The ball game has changed since the American bombing started and since IS has flexed its muscles and rampaged through Iraq. They may now want to be dealt with in a different way,' he (Balboni) said, suggesting the group could now be open to diplomacy and negotiaion.

'They consider themselves to be a state and that implies - in their minds - a sense of legitimacy.'

Balboni said that immediately upon Foley's abduction at gunpoint in Syria on Thanksgiving in 2012 he hired a international team of contractors to find him.

The CEO said that in September of 2013 that firm, which he did not name, found Foley and has been tracking him ever since.

According to the Boston Globe the firm had been able to follow Foley, even though he being was transported to different sites.

A plaintive Balboni said that his firm had spent millions of dollars to get their man back and according to the Boston Globe was 'fairly sure' the White House knew where Foley was.

He also divulged during the press conference that he believed the federal government had attempted to rescue Foley over the past 22 months - but said that these missions were obviously classified - and presumably failed.

Foley was held captive with other hostages, who were European journalists and Balboni told the Boston Globe that they were released when their ransoms were paid.

However, because Foley was an American, 'There were monetary challenges that were not going to be easy to overcome.'

'Jim Foley was an incredibly brave journalist and an incredibly brave man right to the horrible end of his life,' Balboni said to the Boston Globe.
The execution of journalist James Foley drew international condemnation, and western nations responded with stepped-up efforts to counter the threat posed by Islamic State. 

Germany announced it would supply the Kurds with weapons to fight the insurgent. Italy's defense minister said the country hopes to contribute machine guns, ammunition and anti-tank rockets. 

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the killing showed the true face of this 'caliphate of barbarism.'

In capitals across the Middle East, by contrast, the news of Foley's death was met with silence, even in Syria and Iraq - the two countries where the Islamic State is strongest. 

On social media, people in the region condemned Foley's killing, but stressed that the Islamic State has been committing atrocities against Iraqis and Syrians for years."...via Pamela Geller

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